Relationships Between Height, Arm Length, and Leg Length on the Mechanics of the Conventional and High-Handle Hexagonal Bar Deadlift

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Abstract

Lockie, RG, Moreno, MR, Orjalo, AJ, Lazar, A, Liu, TM, Stage, AA, Birmingham-Babauta, SA, Stokes, JJ, Giuliano, DV, Risso, FG, Davis, DL, and Callaghan, SJ. Relationships between height, arm length, and leg length on the mechanics of the conventional and high-handle hexagonal bar deadlift. J Strength Cond Res 32(11): 3011–3019, 2018—The study investigated relationships between arm length (AL) and leg length (LL) and conventional deadlift (CD) and high-handle hexagonal bar deadlift (HHBD) mechanics. Twenty-three resistance-trained subjects (14 men and 9 women) completed a 1 repetition maximum CD and HHBD. A linear position transducer was used to measure lift distance and duration; peak and mean power, velocity, and force; time to peak power and velocity; and work. Right AL and LL were measured, and AL-to-LL ratio (AL:LL) was also calculated. Spearman's correlations (ρ; p ≤ 0.05) computed relationships between anthropometry and deadlift mechanics separately for men and women. For the HHBD, greater height and LL related to greater lift distance and work (ρ = 0.54–0.68); a higher AL:LL related to time to peak power and velocity occurring sooner (ρ = -0.67 to 0.78). For the HHBD, greater height and LL related to greater lift distance and work; a higher AL:LL related to time to peak power and velocity occurring sooner in the lift (ρ = 0.54–0.77). In women, greater height, AL, and LL related to a longer CD lift distance (ρ = 0.67–0.92). For the HHBD, greater height, AL, and LL related to a longer lift distance and greater mean velocity (ρ = 0.69–0.96). There was a negative relationship between AL and lift time (ρ = −0.83), which meant longer arms resulted in a lower HHBD lift time. Arm length may have influenced women more because of the fixed dimensions of the hexagonal bar. Coaches should be cognizant of potential differences in CD and HHBD work when performed by individuals of different body sizes.

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